Sunday, October 25, 2015

Minho Region - Day 2 morning


This 20 foot sculpture welcomed us into the town!

The token figure of Portugal (the cockerel) can be see throughout the country in every tourist and non-tourist shop and outdoor market from north to south. Why?, you ask, is this animal so relevant? Well in Portugal, legends are a key part of it's traditions and this one in particular reigns supreme!

We visited Barçelos (an interior river town about 40 minutes south) on it's weekly market day (Thursday) which is well known for its' crafts and ceramics.  In my opinion, it's the best northern outdoor market that I have been to and it gives anyone visiting Portugal a great depiction of how lively and colorful a market day can actually be.  Here everyone converges to buy staples for the week and to catch up on the latest gossip.  Stall sellers yell at every turn trying to entice the passerby to take something home from their selection, whether it be the juiciest quince apples from the region or the best local red clay pottery...and even a colorful ceramic cockerel.  As touristy as they are they always make me smile. 



After the market we climbed to the top of the medieval tower which has been turned into a folkloric art museum and gallery.  

Dozens of regional ceramic designs from local artists were on display inspiring me to build more one of a kind pieces when I return to my studio.  Also on display were festival masks and dozens and dozens of versions of that beloved national symbol.

 The view from the top of the tower overlooking 
the town market in the park and square.  

We said good bye to Barçelos after a much too quick morning, heading north on the local road to Viana do Castelo.  
Those adventures to follow very soon...

No comments:

Post a Comment